​Dato' Sri Prof Dr Tahir makes birthday gift of S$1 million to support needy NTU students

Published on : 24-Mar-2021


(From left to right) NTU Senior Vice President (Research) Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU Deputy Director (Development Office) Tee Ah Heng, NTU Deputy President and Provost Professor Ling San, Dato' Sri Prof Dr Tahir, Chairman and CEO of Mayapada Group, Er Dr Lee Bee Wah, NTU Vice President (University Advancement) Lien Siaou-Sze

For most people, birthdays are a time for receiving gifts. For Indonesian businessman and philanthropist Dato' Sri Prof Dr Tahir, however, a birthday is the time to present a gift. He is making a gift of S$1 million to Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) to commemorate his 69th birthday in support of student bursaries at the University.

Professor Ling San, NTU Deputy President and Provost, witnessed by Ms Lien Siaou-Sze, Vice President, University Advancement, received the gift on behalf of NTU today at a ceremony held at the Experimental Medicine Building at NTU. As a token of appreciation, NTU presented Dr Tahir a photo book containing vintage snapshots of the University, along with a calligraphed plate with 69 prosperity buns.

Together with matching by the Singapore government, the total gift of S$2.5 million will go towards bursaries that would help financially disadvantaged undergraduates at NTU.

Dr Tahir, the founder of Mayapada Group, one of Indonesia's biggest conglomerates with businesses in financial services, healthcare, and real estate, said: "I come from humble beginnings - my parents made a living by constructing pedicabs. I was studying to be a medical doctor, but I had to drop out to focus on helping with my father's business when he fell sick. I hope this gift will help NTU students in need, and give them the support they need, just like NTU had helped me before."

A recipient of the Nanyang Distinguished Alumni Award in 2018, Dr Tahir graduated from Nanyang University in 1976 with a Bachelor's degree in Commerce after receiving a scholarship from the University. A firm believer in education, he views his contribution as a worthy cause, to support and invest in the long-term development of societies, helping to build intellectual capital, and to nurture human talent.

Ms Lien Siaou-Sze, Vice President, University Advancement, said: "As one of NTU's most distinguished alumni, Dr Tahir has made profound impact towards education, research, healthcare and society. His generous gift towards student bursaries in NTU reflects his deep commitment and dedication towards higher education and the less privileged. We thank him for his long-standing support in helping NTU scale new heights and shape the next generation of leaders."

Avid philanthropist 

This not the first time that Dr Tahir has given to his alma mater. 

In 2018, he donated S$500,000 to set up the Tahir NTU-Universitas Airlangga (NTU-UNAIR) Students Exchange Programme. The programme provides students from the university in Surabaya an immersive learning experience in NTU to improve their English language skills and forge long-lasting friendships. 

To assist students facing financial hardship due to COVID-19, Dr Tahir also donated S$10,000 to the NTU Priorities Fund last year which is part of the NTU COVID-19 Relief Package to assist students facing financial hardship due to the pandemic.



Media contact:

Mr Joseph Gan

Manager, Media Relations

Corporate Communications Office

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Email: joseph.gan@ntu.edu.sg

About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and Graduate colleges. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, established jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-renowned autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).

Ranked amongst the world's top universities by QS, NTU has also been named the world's top young university for the last seven years. The University's main campus is frequently listed among the Top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world and it has 57 Green Mark-certified (equivalent to LEED-certified) building projects, of which 95% are certified Green Mark Platinum. Apart from its main campus, NTU also has a campus in Singapore's healthcare district.

Under the NTU Smart Campus vision, the University harnesses the power of digital technology and tech-enabled solutions to support better learning and living experiences, the discovery of new knowledge, and the sustainability of resources.

For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg

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